Alabama's January unemployment rate soared to 7.8 percent. That's compared to December's rate of 6.5 percent. Alabama Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said January's figure represents 167,774 unemployed Alabamians.
He said the state lost 40,700 jobs in January with most occurring in the trade, transportation and utilities sector.
Wilcox County leads Alabama in unemployment for January with 19.5 percent, Chambers at 17.9 and Dallas at 17.3 percent. The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were in Shelby with 5.5 percent, Madison at 5.7 percent, and Coffee at 6.2 percent.